SOC 2 Certification & Compliance

Designed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

Understanding SOC 2 Certification & Compliance:

The SOC 2 framework, reports, and auditing processes have been designed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to evaluate the security controls of service organizations such as those providing cloud computing, managed security services, SaaS solutions, health care claims processing, and more.

SOC 2 compliance provides service organizations with a framework to review and improve their security posture to ensure adequate data protection and serves as a signal to clients that the organization can effectively mitigate risk exposure.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

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What is SOC 2?

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SOC 2 Compliance Requirements
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SOC 2 Type 1 vs SOC 2 Type 2 Reports
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Benefits of SOC 2 Compliance for Service Organizations
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Who needs SOC 2 compliance?
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Achieving SOC 2 Compliance

SOC 2 Type 1 vs SOC 2 Type 2 Reports:

SOC 2 Type 1 Report: This report is a point-in-time description of an organization’s security systems with a review of the suitability of the design of the controls. The Type 1 report simply demonstrates that the organization has implemented security protocols but does not include any comment on how well they work.

SOC 2 Type 2 Report: The SOC 2 Type 2 is similar to the Type 1 report, except that this report also includes an evaluation of the operating effectiveness of the service organization’s security controls over a period of time, preferably more than two months.

While Type 1 reports can be obtained quickly, Type 2 reports are generally more beneficial to service providers and broadly accepted because they offer a thorough and extensive review of the organization’s security infrastructure.

Who needs SOC 2 compliance?

Service organizations that store and process customer data, such as cloud computing and SaaS solution providers, would benefit from SOC 2 compliance because it is a widely recognized certification that helps organizations identify and close gaps in their security controls. SOC 2 compliance also helps service providers show clients that they take the responsibility of protecting customer information seriously.

Moreover, many companies, today, prefer or require that their service providers obtain an SOC 2 report. So, for many service organizations, SOC 2 compliance might be necessary to secure new business or maintain existing client relationships.

SOC 2 compliance requirements:

SOC 2 compliance is based on establishing controls to protect information and systems as per certain trust services criteria that can be grouped into five principal categories – security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. Generally, the SOC 2 audit reports include a review of controls based on the security category, either individually or in combination with one or more of the other categories.

To prepare for SOC 2 compliance, a service organization should implement adequate policies and procedures that address:

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Logical and physical access controls:

Incorporate logical and physical controls to manage access to protected information assets and prevent unauthorized access.

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Monitoring activities:

Perform and document ongoing evaluations of internal control activities, such as vendor management, policy review, vulnerability assessments, and communicate any gaps to relevant entities to facilitate corrective action.

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Change management:

Include systems to appropriately manage changes to infrastructure, data, software, and procedures and prevent unauthorized changes.

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Risk assessment and mitigation:

Implement processes to identify, assess, and mitigate risks.

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System operations:

Implement procedures to detect and monitor changes to system configurations that leave the organization exposed to new vulnerabilities.

Benefits of SOC 2 compliance for service organizations:

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Gain a competitive advantage:

SOC 2 compliance will give your organization an advantage over competitors that cannot demonstrate the validity of their security posture. By obtaining an SOC 2 Type 2 report, you can assure potential clients that your organization has relevant controls in place to ensure the security, confidentiality, privacy, processing integrity, and availability of customer data.

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Improve your organization’s security system:

The SOC 2 framework and compliance requirements provide you with a solid baseline to consistently review and improve your organization’s overall security posture, risk management, and cyber resilience.

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Meet client security requirements:

Amid growing security concerns, clients are exercising caution when selecting third-party service providers to perform outsourced tasks. Many clients now request vendor compliance with SOC 2 to minimize the risk associated with these partnerships. So, obtaining an SOC 2 Type 2 report allows you to align with client security requirements to ensure customer retention and attract prospects.

Working with GraVoc to achieve SOC 2 compliance

GraVoc’s information security team has the knowledge and expertise to develop policies and procedures to help you meet SOC 2 compliance requirements. Our certification gap analysis & readiness process for SOC 2 has three phases:

1.) Review Phase

Our team will review existing policies, procedures, and related documentation, as well as interview key staff to assess your organization’s IT infrastructure and information security practices.

2.) Policy, Procedure, & Process Development Phase

Our team will provide supplemental policies, procedures, and processes based on SOC 2 criteria and observations made during the review phase.

3.) Implementation Phase

Our team will assist your organization with implementing the established policies, procedures, and controls to fix security control gaps and prepare for the SOC 2 certification audit.

GET IN TOUCH

Have a question or want to discuss our SOC 2 Certification & Compliance readiness services? Contact a GraVoc employee below by filling out the form!

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